Robert Randolph, Sam Bush headline Bonfire Block Party in Eagle, June 2-3 | SummitDaily.com

Robert Randolph, Sam Bush headline Bonfire Block Party in Eagle, June 2-3

Pam Boyd
pboyd@eaglevalleyenterprise.com

A few years back, Andy Jessen of Bonfire Brewing was at the Telluride Blues and Brews celebration when he had a revelation.

While enjoying the event's overall cool vibe, it occurred to him that Eagle could host a similar event.

"Telluride Blues and Brews just brought life to the whole town," Jessen said.

Since no one else was planning a music-centered celebration in Eagle, Jessen decided Bonfire should. Six years ago, the first Bonfire Block Party debuted featuring some local bands in a modest street party setting. Three years ago, Optimum Events & Entertainment joined forces with Bonfire and the block party took a big jump forward, both in its scope and its size. The block party transitioned to include a main stage set up on Broadway Street and a secondary stage on Second Street. As evidenced by overhead photography, the block party crowd filled both venues. As evidenced by a walk downtown, people were loving the beers and tunes atmosphere.

What's up in '17

This year, the block party will be a two-day celebration that's evolving into a signature event for the Eagle community. It's also evolved into a much bigger show.

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This year's event will include a $5 concert fee. A single box office and entrance to the downtown party is planned at Third and Broadway Streets and the town's core area will be closed off for the event. Once inside, partygoers can purchase and sip Bonfire products as they roam around, sway to the tunes and catch up with friends.

Jessen noted the event headliners — Robert Randolph and the Family Band on Friday and the Sam Bush Band on Saturday — routinely sell out 10,000 people venues. Up and down the concert schedule, eventgoers will experience performances that are unique to the Vail Valley.

Jessen said there isn't a formula for how the Block Party books its musicians. It's more of a function of picking performers who simply feel right for the event.

"It's kind of serendipitous how the lineup came together this year," Jessen said. "We have rock, we have jazz and we have bluegrass. Its kind of a reflection of our beers. We are an everyman's kind of beer."

A trip to the Bonfire Brewing tap room in downtown Eagle is all it takes to understand that statement. The pub's chalkboard is crammed with descriptions of the various Bonfire varieties. As Jessen sees it, everyone should find something to enjoy from Bonfire. For the block party, Bonfire has even brewed an apple beer especially for the wine-drinking, cider-loving crowd.

Focusing on an experience

The folks planning the Bonfire Block Party have their company name associated with the event, so naturally they are invested in making good associations. Jessen said every year provides an opportunity to improve the block party.

For instance, last year the food lines were too long so this year Jessen doubled the number of vendors. Likewise there will be many more port-a-potties stationed around downtown this year.

"We want to make it so all that people have to worry about is having a good time," Jessen said.

Jessen especially credited his wife, Amanda, for her attention to the myriad logistical challenges that come with planning such a large event, as well as her expertise in creating the Block Party website

As he prepares to host Bonfire's big party, Jessen noted he feels a great deal of pride about the event.

"We have brought something to the community that wouldn't exist without us," he said "It's become the biggest marketing opportunity for our beer. It's great for the community and great for Bonfire."

But most importantly, the Bonfire Block Party is great fun.

"We want people to have an experience they won't have anyplace else," Jessen. said

To learn more, visit http://www.bonfireblockparty.com.

Bonfire Block Party

Friday, June 2

4 p.m. — Town Cavalry at the Broadway Stage

5:30 p.m — Renegade Sons at the Second St. Stage

SONS

6 p.m. — The London Souls at the Broadway Stage

7:30 p.m. Renegade Sons at the Second St. Stage

8 p.m. — Robert Randolph and the Family Band at the Broadway Stage

10 p.m. — Renegade Sons at the Second St. Stage

Saturday, June 3

3 p.m. — Robby Peoples at the Second St. Stage

4:30 p.m. — California Honeydrops at the Broadway Stage

6 p.m. — Robby Peoples at the Second St. Stage

6:30 p.m. — Tea Leaf Green at the Broadway Stage

8 p.m. — Robby Peoples at the Second St. Stage

8:30 p.m. — Sam Bush Band at the Broadway Stage

10 p.m. — Robby Peoples at the Second St. Stage